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Miami Hurricanes Basketball Looks to go 2-0 @North Florida

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Villanova v Miami Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images

The big news off the court, is UM's potential signing of 5 star commit Lonnie Walker.

For more on that, be sure to check out Cam Underwood's News and Notes from earlier this morning.

And while that coup, if it happens, would secure Miami a Top 10 recruiting class for 2017; the 'Canes still have work to do this season on the hardwood.

UM got off to the resounding start in their opener, with a dominating 92-43 win over an over matched Western Carolina program.

Improving big man Ebuka Izundu led the way with 14 points (all in the second half) on 5-5 shooting.

Kamari Murphy, Dewn Huell, and Ja'Quan Newton all chipped in 13.

Tonight the Hurricanes should deliver more of the same in what should be a tune-up/refiner contest.

But Izundu needs to work on staying out of foul trouble (he picked up 2 very early ones in Game 1).

And Huell and fellow freshmen Bruce Brown (7 points, 8 rebounds,  5 assists Vs WCU) still need to get more acclimated to this level.

Rebounding and defense are still the keys for this team to reach its' full potential.

So watch closely tonight at the intensity levels of the players on the glass and guarding.

There's still a long way to go before ACC games, but every contest counts for a young team.

Stay tuned.

Here are some highlights and game notes for you to enjoy in the meantime:

Game Notes (Courtesy UM):

CORAL GABLES, Fla. – Miami travels to Jacksonville to face UNF at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 16.

Series

All-time: Miami leads 3-0

Under Coach Larrañaga: 1-0

Home: 3-0

Away: 0-0

Last matchup: Nov. 19, 2011. Miami won, 75-62. 

Polls

Miami - AP: RV  USA Today: RV

UNF - AP: NR      USA Today: NR

Weather             

Coral Gables, Fla.:  79/60

Jacksonville, Fla.: 77/52

The 2016-17 Hurricanes

Miami begins the 2016-17 regular season with 10 scholarship players, led by a trio of captains in seniors Davon Reed and Kamari Murphy, along with junior Ja’Quan Newton. Sophomores Anthony Lawrence and Ebuka Izundu also return for the Hurricanes.

This season, a group of five newcomers comprising Miami’s top recruiting class in program history donned a UM jersey for the first time. The Canes’ coaching staff reeled in four freshmen in McDonald’s All-American Dewan Huell, Jordan Brand Classic All-American Bruce Brown, Australian standout Dejan "DJ" Vasiljevic and Rodney Miller from national powerhouse Oak Hill Academy (Va.). Redshirt junior Rashad Muhammad also joins the class after sitting out a season ago due to transferring from San Jose State. The four-man group has been named one of the top 2016 classes in the country, with a No. 9 ranking from 247Sports, No. 10 from Scout, No. 13 from ESPN and No. 13 from Rivals.

Canes Sign a Pair of Top 100 Players

Jim Larrañaga has signed a pair of ESPN Top 100 players in guard Chris Lykes and forward Deng Gak. Lykes is ranked 52nd, while Gak is 93rd on ESPN’s Top 100 list for 2017. This marks the second straight Miami recruiting class with a pair of ESPN Top 100 players, following last year’s signing of Bruce Brown (26) and Dewan Huell (28). Lykes is a 5-foot-6-inch explosive do-it-all point guard from Bowie, Md., who plays at Gonzaga College (D.C.) High School. He is ranked No. 52 on the ESPN Top 100 list, and is ranked 11th at his position and second in D.C. Gak is a 6-foot-11-inch forward playing his prep ball at Blair Academy in New Jersey. ESPN ranks Gak as No. 93 overall, 16th at his position and as the top forward in the state of New Jersey. Scout lists Gak at No. 20 for his position and tops in the state at his position.

Highly-Touted Freshmen Make Debuts

Four freshmen made their Miami debut in the season opener against WCU, led by 13 points and seven rebounds from Dewan Huell and eight rebounds and five assists from Bruce Brown.

Izundu Impresses in First Start

Sophomore center Ebuka Izundu was perfect from the field (5-5) and the line (4-4) on his way to 14 points in his first-career start. He filled up the stat sheet with five rebounds, one assist, a block and a steal in 12 second-half minutes after playing just one minute in the first half, due to early foul trouble.

Block Party at the Watsco Center

As a team the Hurricanes blocked eight shots against the Catamounts, the most since April 2, 2015 against Stanford, when Miami had eight in the NIT Championship game. Sophomore Anthony Lawrence led the way with his career-high three swats. Five other Canes each had one: Davon Reed, Ebuka Izundu, Kamari Murphy, Bruce Brown and Dewan Huell.

Murphy and Reed on Verge of 100 Games Played

Seniors Kamari Murphy and Davon Reed have each played in 99 career games. Murphy played in 66 games at Oklahoma State before playing 33 at Miami. All 99 of Reed's games played are at UM.

The Matchup Between Miami and North Florida

Miami is 3-0 against North Florida all-time, but this will be the first time the Canes will face the Ospreys on the road.

Since Jim Larrañaga arrived in 2011, the Hurricanes are 15-6 against opponents from the state of Florida.

Dating back to 2001, Miami has gone 22-2 against teams from the Atlantic Sun Conference.

Wednesday’s game will be a matchup of two of the best shooting teams from last season. The Ospreys were tied for 14th in the country in field goal percentage at 48.6 percent while the Canes finished tied for 26th at 47.7 percent.

In each season that Miami has faced North Florida (2007, 2008 & 2011) they have gone on to win at least 19 games.

In Miami’s three matchups with North Florida, the Hurricanes have won by an average of 29.3 points.

McClellan Makes First NBA Start

Former Cane and current Washington Wizards rookie Sheldon McClellan made his first NBA start on Nov. 12 vs. Chicago, in just his fifth professional game played. Against the Bulls, he scored 15 points in 35 minutes played.